Last Word on snow days, Jan. 20

Empty trolley

I like the picture on the front page of a recent Gazette — the trolley is almost empty. It is usually empty. What a waste of money.

Mixed message

Now I am confused. To the person who wrote, “I really wish commenters would stop pontificating about what the Bible states — if that is your belief, please keep it to yourself.” Yet you don’t hesitate to state your opinion, so are you saying your thoughts are the only ones that could possibly matter?

Beautification

So great to read about decisions made to fund and support beautification projects in the city. Other communities have done much with citizen involvement, but to have active city support should make a visible improvement sooner rather than later. The team who planted Jamestown Road to the ferry is gone, but didn't they have specific plans for a similar project on the "beauty challenged" east Route 60? And citizens had years ago pressed for specific and listed improvements to Capitol Landing Road. Let’s hope the ideas and concerns blossom into visible improvements.

Snow days

I would just like to thank the young man on Woods Drive for coming over and shoveling my elderly mother’s driveway this morning without even being asked, just out of the kindness of his heart. They are new neighbors, and I want him to know that is so much appreciated. Thank you.

To those concerned about the schools being closed too long following the snowstorm, please remember that superintendents do not make the decision to close schools lightly. Their first priority is the safety of the students and staff. Just because roads near you were clear does not mean all roads in the city/county were safe for the buses. It may be inconvenient for parents to have their children at home, but that small inconvenience is nothing compared to the well being of the students and staff. Trust that the superintendents are doing the best they can with the information they are provided.

As a single female homeowner that does not have unlimited funds to hire a company to shovel the driveway, I wonder whatever happened to neighbors helping neighbors? I have seen several men shoveling their driveways and I suppose it never occurred to them to help shovel a small path to help their neighbor.

VDOT spends all this time spraying brine on the roads before the storms, but I haven’t seen that it makes any difference keeping ice off the roads in the end. All they succeed in doing is spraying salt water on the road, which then gets all over your car and it’s just going to cause everything to rust. So I don’t see where it’s making any difference, especially when it’s going to be as cold as it is. Hopefully, just let the snow blow off the roads.

Everyone should raise a toast with hot chocolate to praise VDOT for the work they did in the recent snowstorm.

When this town adequately handles plowing snow, they will also have a better idea about redistricting high schools. Presalt major roads, plow during and after snowfall, plow secondary and salt for icing. Not hard.

Despite all the recent and ongoing hullabaloo and demands for gender equality, I didn't see even one woman helping shovel snow out of a driveway after the recent snowstorm.

We recently had a flat tire in the icy Harris Teeter parking lot. A call to AAA was met with the news that their services were totally maxed out and they couldn’t help. It was about 25 degrees and it was approaching dusk. While we were deciding what to do, a gentleman approached and offered to change the tire for us. He had all the equipment necessary in his truck, and he proceeded to solve our problem efficiently and wish us a happy new year as he shook hands with us. We don’t even know his name, but we are so grateful. God bless this good Samaritan.

To those who would complain about no mail or paper delivery after the recent storm: Would you do the job? It’s easy to complain, but unless you would do the work, just appreciate those who are willing to deliver. Otherwise, we would all be going to the post office for mail or the nearest 7-Eleven for papers. Just think about that.

Road worries

I would very much like to know why law enforcement, particularly the state police, does not enforce laws made by the General Assembly. This includes the use of headlights when it is raining and when windshield wipers are in use, and the most recent one, no driving in the left lane unless you are passing; not to mention speeding in a construction zone. None of these are enforced and with all of the construction on Interstate 64, they are putting the lives of VDOT workers, along with everyday commuters, at serious risk. I would be interested in a response.

What can we do to get some brighter lighting at the intersection of Croaker and Richmond roads? When you turn into the shopping center into Food Lion and CVS, it’s really dark. It would be nice to have some brighter lighting at that intersection. Also, the parking lot for the new Dollar General is very dim. That would be nice to have some brighter lighting there as well.

Phone scam

This afternoon, I answered a recorded call from Verizon indicating that my account had been suspended and to answer two questions to reactivate it. The first was the last four digits of my Social Security number and the next was my account number. Too late, I realized I didn't have a Verizon account and hung up. My wife got the same call. I redialed the number from the caller ID in both our phones, which was a real Verizon number, talked to a representative who indicated that this type of pfishing happens by the thousands every day and that they can't do anything about it. The rep, however, indicated that Verizon does not call its customers and does not ask for Social Security numbers. So just don't fall for this scam like I did.

Mail Delivery

I would like to thank the post office for the difficult job of delivering mail in the cold and the snow. They are doing the best they can, and it can’t be easy sitting in an open-air vehicle traveling on dangerous roads to deliver our mail. We should be grateful to them for wanting a job that entails these kinds of working conditions. So, thank you, mail carriers. This household appreciates your efforts.

Nice doing business

The small town feel is alive and well at Chesapeake Bank at the corner of Richmond Road and Lafayette. The staff there (special shout out to Thomas Claiborne) are very helpful, especially when dealing with my 93-year-old mom who had just moved here. Always pleasant and eager to help, these folks make the mundane chore of banking a little more enjoyable.

Thank you

Once again, the Norge Community Club teamed up with Brantley & Ripley Construction to help Santa provide gifts for all the Bright Beginning students at Norge Elementary. Thanks to all the fine folks associated with that organization and business for their generosity and Christmas spirit.

Friday, while I was sitting in Shorty’s having breakfast with my husband, who is recovering from knee surgery, when we went to pay the bill, the waitress told us the man sitting across from us had taken care of it. Thank you, Scott, we are really appreciative and plan to play it forward.

A big thank you to Bruce, who manages the 7-Eleven convenience store on Longhill Road. While wishing me a happy new year, he said, “The drink is on me!” His store is immaculate and efficiently run. The staff is the best. Always cheerful, greeting you each morning with a smile and “Have a good day” wishes. I do not take this for granted, because you will not find these hometown charms in the convenience stores elsewhere.

Thanks to regular Habitat ReStore customer, Anthony, for all you do for our staff and volunteers. Your frequent culinary gifts are delicious and greatly appreciated, and they encourage us even more to meet our goals of affordable housing in our community.

Well done!

Kudos to Safelite for renovating an existing building instead of building new. It would be nice if more companies coming to Williamsburg would do this.

Only still lonely

I noted in Saturday's Last Word that a comment titled Lonely “only”, immediately followed a comment titled “Scatterbrain.” You go on to point out (in your opinion) that the first phrase ("A man does not only play golf on Friday") as compared to the second phrase (he plays golf only on Friday) to have meant, "He does nothing on Friday but play golf." How you came to this conclusion is somewhat baffling. I find the Gazette's choice to run the two unrelated comments sequentially to appropriately prepare readers for what comes next — your Lonely “only” comment. Some would say both comments mean exactly the same thing. i.e. "When able, the man plays some golf on Friday — only." Nice brain game though.

Immigration

Except to escape violence, famine or political persecution, or to reunite a family, why would anyone want to immigrate to the currently sanity-challenged and hostile U.S.? Contrary to Trump’s expectations, certainly not anyone from Norway, which enjoys a high standard of living and concern for all of its people.

I gather from the president’s comments about wanting fewer immigrants from Africa and Haiti and South America and more from places such as Norway, that in the future we will see Norwegian immigrants picking tomatoes and vegetables throughout the United States.

I’m curious why liberal America wants to totally protect illegal immigrants, but yet we forget about our veterans and our homeless people, including their families, that are living in shelters, living on the streets. And these are fellow Americans. Don’t you think they should come first, before somebody that comes into this country illegally? Do you think they could go into China and do this? Russia? I don’t think so. We need to put people that are homeless, veterans that are out there on the streets that need medicine. They’ve fought in the war and they have injuries and they have PTSD. Those people need to come first.

No great deal

Don't be fooled by a yellow "we miss you!" flyer from a local auto dealer advertising oil and filter change for $34.95 or synthetic for $59.95. I ordered the synthetic change. Instead of the advertised $59.95, there was an additional labor charge of $20. They also performed an unauthorized tire rotation for $24.95. You can bet that I won't go back for service again.

Dull knives

Well, it looks like there are many of us looking for someone to sharpen our knives. One of the many perks from Casey’s Department Store — they had a man come, probably I guess, maybe once a year, to sharpen knives. Oh, how I miss Casey’s. If ever we needed a department store, it is now. But look what we’ve got instead. One of the many blunders of Colonial Williamsburg was to let this wonderful department store, which served the needs of Williamsburgers for so many years, and now they are gone. Please, can someone find someone to sharpen our knives?

Mail delivery

A package I tracked arrived at the Williamsburg Post Office during the snowstorm. Since we had no delivery since the storm, I went to the post office to pick it up Tuesday. They said it was out for a second delivery. Well, the mail did not get delivered on Tuesday or Wednesday, so I was still waiting for that package. My neighbor has been receiving all of her packages from Amazon Prime daily.

Our post office loses money every year, yet they continue to send junk mail at a fraction of the cost of a regular stamp. When are they going to charge advertisers the same as they charge the public?

Electoral college

I am painfully aware of the inequities of the Electoral College. My point was, that under the fairness doctrine of the 14th Amendment, Virginia voters’ vote in the Electoral College should be worth as much as the vote of a voter in Wyoming, not just .11 percent of that vote.

Recommended

Corey's Country Kitchen, on Richmond Road, serves wonderful down-home cooking. Their cornbread is so moist and tasty that it doesn't really need butter. Their meats are juicy and flavorful. Great variety of choices. Check it out.

Anyone interested in a driving school should contact A&C Driving, 565-0053. Mr. and Mrs. Hundley do a fantastic job.

I want to let the owners at Williamsburg Chauffeur Service know that they need to give a big shout out to one of their chauffeurs. My parents have used your service for several years now, having different chauffeurs, but one they love in particular is Michelle. They were ecstatic last time they used your service when they opened up their garage doors and saw Michelle was driving them again. My parents love the service Michelle always gives. They say it’s like curling up in a blanket and reading a good book. You know you are being taken care of. Please, let her know how well she is doing. In today's age, it’s like a breath of fresh air.

Any of you elderly ladies looking to stay in shape? I highly recommend George Amrein at the Williamsburg Pilates Center. He is an excellent instructor and will meet your needs.

Handicapped parking

Along both sides of Conway Drive off of Lake Powell Road, there are 16 painted handicapped parking spots. Problem is the signs indicating them are decorative ones put up by the management company. They are very pretty, but have no impact on the many people who park illegally in these spots with neither handicapped placards or plates. There are many handicapped people who arrive home to find no parking and see cars that should not be using them parked in these much-needed spots. I called VDOT and they informed me the road is a James City County road and said I should call them. James City County told me they do not do "signs" and that VDOT is responsible for them. We do not want to bother JCC police every time this happens; they are busy enough with more important matters. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

High finance

To the writer of the Last Word who was questioning the portfolio return being up only 9 percent when the stock market were up about 20 percent: The answer is in your explanation. You have half your money in debt or in bonds, and bonds did not go up nearly by 20 percent last year. In fact, bonds might have lost money last year. So, if you say bonds are at zero and the other stocks were up 20 percent and you’ve got half in bonds and half in stocks, that gets you to your 9 percent when you consider your management fees probably cost you 1 percent. I hope this explanation helps. If not, perhaps you do need a new financial planner.

To the commenter wondering why his managed retirement has not kept up with the rise in the stock market: Three words: fund manager fees. Check and see if the manager is needlessly "churning" your account in order to generate commissions for himself and put a stop to it.

Grocery store

We need a grocery store in place of Farm Fresh. We need a grocery store to replace Farm Fresh on Merrimac Trail. Thank you

Looking for …

My neighbor told me a new a cappella chorus is starting here in Williamsburg. She didn’t have any more information. Does anyone have any information they could share? This sounds like fun. Thank you.

To the Jan. 12 inquiry about Tidewater Interiors: We have a newly remodeled showroom located at 13320 Warwick Blvd., Newport News. Our showroom is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday and on Saturdays and Sundays by appointment. We also offer free in-home decorating consultations to fit your schedule, including nights and weekends. We look forward to assisting you with all of your window treatment, upholstery, garage floor and furniture needs. 757-872-8666.

Does anyone know of an Aveda-trained stylist in the Williamsburg area?

Can someone please give me the phone number for Khalid at We Fix Computers? Thank you. Editor’s note: a quick internet search says you can reach Khalid at 757-291-3663.

When approaching Toano on Route 60 from the west (Anderson’s Corner), there is a rusted sign past the train tracks that reads “Toano Caboose.” Does anyone know anything about this, as in what it was, where it was and when it operated? Thank you.

Take it away

If anyone knows someone with authority at the utility company, please ask them to remove no-longer-used utility boxes throughout Williamsburg. We have one on Waltz Farm Drive that is leaning with wires hanging out. It’s an eyesore. Thank you.

Tax plans

I had to laugh when reading the Last Word entry that called the Democrats obstructionists and stated that the blue states live off the taxes of hardworking citizens. Perhaps this writer slept through the years in which the Republicans bragged about refusing to work with President Obama and would not even meet with his Supreme Court nominee? It seems unlikely that the writer would understand Democrats would not support measures that give enormous tax breaks to the richest and gut the First Amendment. He or she could certainly not be more mistaken about which states are the "takers." They are red states.

Guns

I can’t believe the naivety and plain stupidly of those who thought up “gun free zones” and not allowing those with handgun permits in their place of business. Does anyone believe that a criminal intent on doing harm will actually obey these rules? What will happen when a would-be shooter isn’t stopped until police arrive? I’ll tell you, many more will die. This waste of innocent life would have possibly been avoided by a citizen who legally has a permit to carry concealed. Wake up; criminals don’t obey the law.

Cautionary Tale

For the last five years, my co-worker was the underdog at our place of employment. During this time, I listened, consoled, advised and sincerely gave her beautiful things to brighten her day. I implored our manager to offer her a few kind words that would mean so much or praise her work, as she so deserved it. Lately, with new personnel installed, I became the underdog. The same co-worker used her new position of favor to distort the truth, selfishly disregard anything of importance to me and instigate the ending of my 30-year tenure at the beginning of the Christmas holidays. I loved my job. In this passing season of peace on earth, good will toward men and the beginning of a new year, let this be a cautionary tale.

Up in Washington

The S&P 500 has quadrupled since one month after Obama took office to now. It went up 37 percent his first year in office. Last year, under Trump, 19 percent. The market will go up in spite of Trump, but will our children grow up to be braggarts and liars because of him?

We are the tens of millions of Americans who voted for Donald Trump in November. He believes as we believe. Secure our borders (wall), support police and first responders, revise immigration laws to protect American citizens first, promote American jobs first, reduce taxes — corporate and personal — to spur U.S. growth, reduce/eliminate restrictive regulations, and uphold constitutional law in accordance with our Founding Fathers. Thank you, Mr. President, for not wavering. We do not waiver in our support.

If the Wall Street Journal's allegations that the president's lawyers paid for a porn star's silence just before the election are true, they would sink a normal White House. The reaction tonight from some Republicans is that they don't count because the event happened before the election. I was not aware that being elected president was the same as baptism when it came to washing away a person's sins. Welcome to Alt World.

Congressman Wittman showed his true colors by failing to publicly be critical of Trump's racist comments. Trump does not represent the values of Virginia's first district. In November, adios, Rob! Wittman also supports off shore oil drilling off of our beautiful coastline.

I find it so sad we now have a president who called African nations and others with mostly black inhabitants "Shi*****" nations.” This does nothing to "Make America Great Again" but should embarrass us all as citizens of this country, as well as our congressional reps that continue to support Trump's actions. Remember this during the November elections. We the people of this nation will Make America Great, not a bigoted racist president and party that continues to work at tearing us down.

I, for one, have no problem with President Trump calling disgusting countries exactly what they are. It’s about time political correctness comes to an end. If you don’t agree that these countries are in fact disgusting, why don’t you consider moving there?

The reason Congress never gets anything done is everything has to be "comprehensive" that no one can comprehend. Do one thing at a time, but get it done and move to the next problem.

I resolve to boycott all movies made by any of the narcissistic, air-head Hollywood types who use their notoriety to attack or disrespect the president of our country. I do not care how good the movie is purported to be, hit them where it hurts … don’t buy tickets to their movies.

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